A Conductor’s Guide to Percussion: Bass Drum Methods

Today, I complete my series on percussion methods by talking about the concert bass drum. The drum is mounted vertically, with the two heads to the players left and right. The player's right foot is placed on the inside of the rim just right of center, and the knee is turned into the drum head. … Continue reading A Conductor’s Guide to Percussion: Bass Drum Methods

A Conductor’s Guide to Percussion: Cymbal Methods

Today, I continue my series on percussion methods with cymbals. I will begin with concert crash cymbals and then discuss suspended cymbal. My discussion will be limited to concert instruments and applications, not drum kit. I have found the best sound can be produced using leather handles on the pair of crash cymbals. Handles that … Continue reading A Conductor’s Guide to Percussion: Cymbal Methods

How Are Balance Problems in Music Remedied?

Whether you’re a band, orchestra or choir director, or a musician in one of these ensembles, you have probably had to deal with the problem of having too few basses in your ensemble. There never seems to be enough players for tubas and double basses, nor do their ever seem to be enough boys to … Continue reading How Are Balance Problems in Music Remedied?

What is a Melody?

For virtually everyone who teaches music, melody is one of the basic elements. Though music teachers may vary slightly on what melody is, most definitions will at least include the requirement of a sequence of notes which each have pitch and duration. This fits nicely with a view of music being humanly organized sounds recognized … Continue reading What is a Melody?

How Can Music Students Work Smarter?

This week I will be conducting my students in performances of Grease School Version. Because of my schedule associated with the production, my next post here will be Sunday, May 25. It will be good to see you here then. We’ve all heard the saying, work smarter, not harder. In music performance, this is especially good … Continue reading How Can Music Students Work Smarter?